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Numbers

In the Star Tribune story titled "Union, MnDOT differ over number of bridge inspectors" numbers were used several times throughout the story. They were used to describe the number of inspectors compared to the number of bridges in need of inspection, to describe how many people were killed and injured in the 35W bridge collapse and to describe how the number of bridge inspectors have fallen.

The story is about how the union feels it is does not have enough people to do its job and how the state disagrees. The point of disagreement is in the numbers. Despite this fact, the actual numbers in contention are not mentioned until halfway through the story. Generalizations are made instead of listing specific numerals.

If the specific numbers were mentioned right away, it would have been harder to read. It's easier to understand a statement explaining what the numbers mean first and then see the actual numbers. It's kind of like having a thesis and then backing it up. If you started with the details, the reader would have to think too hard to get the point.